Spanish is the 4th most spoken language in the world. In my opinion though, it is the second most important language, right after English. Just consider the number of countries where people speak Spanish, and the beauty of those corners of the world… Colombia, Argentina, mainland Spain, Canary islands, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and so on, and so forth. Who’ve been there knows what I am talking about…
If you speak Spanish and want to teach it in the US, or in another English speaking country, you will often face a tough competition. Many Hispanic people live in every such place, and job of a Spanish teacher is one of the best jobs they can get. Due to this competition, interview for a job of a Spanish teacher is one of the toughest teaching interviews. But I will try to help you stand out with your interview answers, and eventually walk away with a new employment agreement. Let’s start!
Why do you want to work as a Spanish teacher?
Forget the salary and employee benefits. In order to succeed in this interview, you have to demonstrate other type of motivation. First of all, focus on your teaching skills, and your ability to achieve excellent progress with every single learner. Judging by experience, you are a good teacher, students enjoy the lessons, and reach their educational goals with you. That’s the number one reason why you want to teach Spanish for a living–because you are awfully good at it.
But it is not all. Reading the job description, you find the position an excellent match for your skills and personality. You believe you will enjoy the job at their educational institution, and deliver the value they expect from a successful candidate, their new Spanish teacher. Last but not least, you have passion for your native language, and continue studying it, improving your skills, which later transforms into even better teaching…
Can you tell us more about your experience with Spanish language?
The difficulty of this question depends mostly on one thing: whether you are a native speaker of Spanish language. If that’s the case, you can simply say that you were born in this or that country, and spent all your childhood speaking Spanish. You can elaborate on it, explaining that you still speak Spanish daily, while in contact with your relatives back home, or with the local Hispanic community.
The situation is slightly different when you aren’t a native Spanish speaker. Honestly speaking, it will be hard to get the job in such a scenario, unless you can convince them of your language skills. Get ready to show any language certificates you’ve earned over the years, and any other documents that demonstrate your readiness to teach Spanish. You can also express your confidence in your language skills, ensuring the interviewers that you can speak well enough for the given level of education.
Cuéntame de tu experiencia laboral
Sooner or later, they will ask you a question in Spanish. It can be about your working experience, career goals, or they can inquire anything else, including your hobbies. The thing that may surprise you is that at times they may not even speak Spanish. Even if they do not speak the language, they want to hear the fluency with which you speak, the accent, and simply check whether you aren’t talking trash in the interview, and can really speak Spanish.
In terms of your experience, try to focus on relevant roles you had before. Any teaching jobs are your best bet, but any jobs in which communication skills played a major role, and you communicated in Spanish, are great choice for your answer. And if you happen to lack experience, ensure them that you know what to expect in the job, and feel ready to meet their expectations, as well as expectations of your new students.
What teaching methods do you prefer and why?
You have two options for a really good answer here. First one is emphasizing individual approach to each student (or class). You have experience with (or at least theoretical knowledge of) various teaching methods, starting with pure lecturing and ending with innovative concepts such as learning by playing or flipped classroom. And you will always choose the most fitting one for the student, their abilities and goals, as well as to the lesson you cover.
Another alternative is thinking for a while about the target group of students, the people you will teach in your new job. Are their children, or adults? Beginners or advanced students? Will the conversation form the majority of your lessons, or will it be reading, listening, and writing? Think about it for a moment, and try to come up with a fitting method or combination of teaching methods for the target group.
How long do you want to teach Spanish here?
They should get an impression that you are in for a long run, and do not consider this job just a temporary stop, before you can get something better, or before you move to the next country while exploring the world as a teacher. Of course, it helps when your resume suggests you are no job-hopper, and stayed longer with your former employers. Saying that you do not have any other plans in a foreseeable future, and want to stay and grow as a Spanish teacher with them, is normally a great answer, unless your resume suggests a different story.
Another option is saying that you try to live in a present moment, especially in the unpredictable times we are experiencing right now. It is hard to say what will happen in six months, let alone in few years. Therefor you do not think much about it, and try to focus on the task at hand. In this case, it is getting a job of a Spanish teacher, and do it as good as you can. You will see what will happen in the future, and how long you will have the job, but do not think about it at the moment.
Other questions you may face while interviewing for a job of a Spanish Teacher
- In your experience, what are the main challenges English speaking students face while trying to learn Spanish?
- How would you deal with a disruptive student?
- What do you consider your greatest strength, and your biggest weakness, when it comes to teaching Spanish?
- Why do you want to work here, and not somewhere else?
- I walk to the classroom in the middle of your lesson. What do I see?
- What are your salary expectations?
- What is your availability? When exactly can you start, and what days/hours can you teach?
- Tell us what you love about teaching, and what you hate about it.
Questions you will face while interviewing for a job of a Spanish teacher aren’t particularly difficult, and you can prepare for most of them in advance. What make this interview difficult, however, is the competition you will face. Many people want to teach Spanish, in every English speaking country, and you may find yourself competing with ten other candidates for a single vacancy.
Try to stand out, not only with your interview answers. Bring some positive energy to the room, show your motivation to become the best Spanish teacher, and try all you can to make a good connection with the interviewers. And if it still doesn’t pan out, don’t despair. Job search is a game of numbers, and you’ll get better with every single interview you go to. This time someone else may get the job, next time it will be you… I wish you good luck!
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